Archive for June, 2009

Windows Vista Ultimate customers get the shaft – again

June 26, 2009 8:04 pm

A lot has been written about how Windows Vista Ultimate was a major disappointment. First it was billed as the version that would “keep on giving” in the form of Ultimate Extras – cool new features that would be exclusive to Ultimate customers. When those extras finally materialized most people were underwhelmed. The extras were mostly Language Packs, DreamScene (with a few content packs) and a game or two. And for that, people paid a hefty premium over the Home Premium edition.

Now Microsoft has published special early upgrade pricing to entice people to rush out and get Windows 7 “while supplies last”. And they’re at it again. Guess what the upgrade price for Windows 7 Ultimate is:




Sorry to shout there. At least this time there’s no promise of “Extras”. Only BitLocker and Language Packs (in addition to the Professional features). Not sure that’s worth $120 over the Professional Upgrade or $170 over Home Premium (even considering XP mode.)

Oh, and you can’t do an edition “downgrade” from Vista to 7. You can buy the upgrade package, but you’ll have to use it to do a “custom install” (i.e. clean install) and then reinstall all your programs and data. Despite that inconvenience, I’ll go for the Home Premium upgrade, thank you very much. I’m done being an Ultimate customer. Or is that Ultimate fool?

(And just for the record, Windows 7 is a fantastic product in my opinion. I hope Paul Thurrott is right when he says it may be the next Windows NT. Unfortunately he also seems to be right about how Microsoft can mess things up with their pricing)

Battling a flood of requests from Microsoft IP addresses

June 19, 2009 9:40 pm

In case you’re wondering why this blog has been unavailable the last couple of days: My domain seems to get hit excessively by a couple of IP addresses belonging to Microsoft (mainly). I don’t know why or how, but my host (Dreamhost) has decided that I now have to pay for private hosting (their DreamhostPS product).

I’m trying to block the IP address range that has been causing this, but I have no idea when my host will unilaterally decide to shut my domain down again (I suppose it isn’t nice of me to turn it back on without telling them, but they didn’t tell me they would shut it down either.) Apparently it is my responsibility to monitor the access logs and detect excessive activity and deal with it. I’m not aware of any tools they provide that help me do so, nor do they provide any kind of alerts that would help me be more responsible (if you can call finding yourself in a situation that you didn’t cause and dealing with it being “more responsible”.)

Of course, they’re in the clear, because the terms of service state that they can do whatever they want if my site causes problems for other customers on the shared web server box.

I’ve contacted Microsoft’s abuse email address and sent them access log “greps” that prove the problem. I’ve also tried to find access logs for other addresses the host claims have caused issues, but those logs seem to have been deleted by now. So now I’ve embarrassed myself with an abuse email to an ISP without having the ability to back up my claim. Nice.

Anyone have any advice on what else I can do?